RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pumpkin Update!

I racked my pumpkin wine again on Sunday night (2/12). I had a taste of it while doing so, and all I can say is wow! This is going to be a good wine! It has a nice light body, with a taste of pumpkin already. It finishes with a bit of a gingery bite. It is definitely not too acidy, and the ginger has backed off, although it's still a little too strong. But now I'm confident that will mellow with time. This is a good dry wine. I'm actually starting to rethink whether I will sweeten this or not!

This is part of what makes winemaking so great. I was simply enjoying the processes of working on the wine, and had forgotten a little bit about how good the finished product can be. This was a great wonderful surprise for me!

The wine is clearing nicely, and has a beautiful golden-amber color in the carboy, and is almost as clear as water with little color in the glass.

That's it for now. We'll see how it progresses!


Friday, February 10, 2006


VR Merlot:
This past Monday, February 6th, I moved on to the next step on my VR Merlot. Checking the SG on Sunday and Monday, it was already down to .990.

I added packets #2 and #3 (K-metabisulfite and K-sorbate*). Following the instructions carefully, I added these packets to a half cup of warm water and disolved them the best I could, then added directly to the carboy. I then stirred for 2 minutes using my Mix-Stir.

Next I added packet #4 - Chitosan. This is a fining agent, which attaches to small tiny floaties, thereby increasing their mass and falling to the bottom of the carboy clearing the wine.

Finally, I topped up the Carboy with about a cup and a half of cool water to around 2 inches below the bottom of the bung. Now I have to wait 2 weeks from all this activity, which will be February 27th, to bottle. If I prefer, I could rack first to a sanitized carboy to make sure I don't suck up any of the sediment. I'll let you know how that goes!

Pumpkin Wine:
Just looking at my Pumpkin wine. I may try to rack again at the end of the month, but for now, it's starting to clear nicely. The top of the carboy is getting clear enough that I can see my hand through the wine (not extremely clearly yet, but getting there.) As I guessed, this wine has a beautiful golden amber color.

That's it for now. Salud!

*The letter K is the chemical symbol for potassium. Who thought I would ever need chemistry after high school?